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‘ [168] practical affairs (note that exception!) are the worst of politicians.’ He has especially in mind historians, and makes the point, which is worth noticing, that they are a little apt to confound the dead and the living. ‘Look at Freeman; he digs into forgotten records and finds that the ancestors of some people oppressed the ancestors of another, four hundred years ago; upon which he forthwith exhorts their descendants, living in peace and amity, to hate each other now. Another is more moderate: he only unearths the misgovernment of a hundred years ago as a present motive for mutual detestation.’ In this country, I should say, this last tendency prevails most with those who are not historians, but politicians. A more substantial drawback is the absorbing preoccupation of both the literary and the practical life; and the fact that there are only twenty-four hours in every day. Hamerton speaks of a Greek philosopher, who was suspected by the business men of incapacity for affairs, but who devoted a year to proving the contrary and traded with such skill that he went back to his studies a capitalist. The practical man is

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P. G. Hamerton (1)
E. A. Freeman (1)
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